You can check out the rest of the photos of us at:
Is it just me, or shouldn’t they put some sort of watermark on their photos?
There’s also a few more photos at Paola’s Horse Blog – thanks again to Paola for coming to the show!
I’ve had some lingering thoughts following my super long show recap post. Thank you very much to everyone who has commented! I don’t always comment back, but I read and appreciate all of them. In fact, comments tend to sit with me for a few days and influence how I reflect on things, and I revisit and reread comments as I mull things over.
2 readers suggesting leaving feedback for the show organizers. A really nice thing about the US Eventing Association is their excellent comprehensive website with competitor-oriented features such as the online event evaluation form. This kind of thing is a real bonus of competing in a recognized horse trial over a schooling show (where the dressage judges may or may not be going senile, cough cough).
While I generally never hesitate to share my opinions and leave feedback, I haven’t yet filled out an event evaluation form for the show, because I just keep seeing both points of view and don’t really know what I’d say. While it was in bad taste for the TD and vet to come to my stall with gross misinformation, I understand that shows can be hectic and things sometimes get mixed up. It happens. And while I certainly didn’t appreciate being pressured to withdraw, I can understand that their primary concern was safety. The TD was pleasant and professional to me when I volunteered on Sunday – I got the impression that the vet had clued him in to the misinformation, as well as our excellent stadium warm-up and jumping round.
So right now I’m not feeling bothered by what happened at the show by the officials. It is what it is, and I’m proud of myself for knowing the rules, sticking to my guns, and getting through the experience, with a bonus of accomplishing a life goal along the way.
The only small thing that bothers me at this point is the fact that my group participated in an Amy Barrington fundraiser “fantasy team challenge” and the results were supposed to have been posted on Sunday afternoon. Then they changed it to Monday following the show. That was over a week ago and still nothing, though I’ve inquired on their Facebook.
With all the drama aside, if we take a good hard look at the shenanigans issue, we see solid improvement. Yes, there was some wigging out on Friday and Saturday. But it was to a much lesser degree than at Shepherd Ranch, where we had it every day and to a much larger extent. At Fresno, not only was I able to nip it in the bud, but we were able to move forward and put in some decent work following. We also confirmed some methods for handling it:
- Buddy system with another horse.
- Ponying system with trainer.
- “March on” rider attitude.
- Neck strap and whip.
- Proceed with caution when making the decision to longe.
I think that our training methods of regular bit-ups plus being more demanding at home gave Hemie the tools to cope with show stress better. He didn’t feel as trapped by bit contact, and he was able get his brain back promptly following an incident.
My trainer thinks that some horses react poorly being in such close proximity to the power station. I don’t know what to say on that, but who knows – it could have been a factor.
At this point in time I feel ready to move up to Beginner Novice in 2014. My trainer thinks we will quickly move up to Novice, but I’m in no rush whatsoever and I wouldn’t even consider it until we have at least 2 horse trials with no shenanigans whatsoever. Not only do I find it simply unacceptable, but its inappropriate once you get past BN (which everyone knows is for greenies and newbies). We’re done with showing for the year, so I’ve got some time to work on my position and get ready for the Annual Galway Downs Fundraiser in late January!